Paid Search Marketing
One of the challenges for any specialist is evangelizing your own channel. Whether you’re a pay-per-click consultant, doing PPC full time in house, or just list PPC campaign management as one of the channels you manage, you want to be sure that the proper budget and credit are being assigned to your pay-per-click campaigns.
In some instances just looking at the standard reporting options might not give you a full picture of where the value in your PPC campaign truly lies, but in this post we’ll introduce you to a few tools that will help you get more granular insight into the true performance of your pay-per-click campaigns.
Demonstrating PPC Value with Multi-Channel Funnels
Multi-channel funnels from Google Analytics are a great (new) means of showing previously hidden value being created by AdWords PPC campaigns. This reporting suite’s move away from last-click attribution means you’re now able to generate a report for “assisted conversions” from PPC, or conversions where a paid click was somewhere in the conversion path, but not the last click. You can quickly create a conversion segment within the new multi-channel report in Google Analytics. Simply click “Create New Conversion Segment” and you’ll be faced with this interface:
Now we can see not just last-touch conversions from PPC, but any interaction that was within a conversion path (i.e., the total number of conversions where a visitor was driven to your site by your paid campaign at some point or other).
Demonstrating PPC Value with Call Metrics
While last-click attribution can obfuscate some value that your paid campaigns may be generating, different types of interactions with prospects may be causing your PPC campaigns to be undervalued as well. One instance of this is leads that don’t fill out a form, but rather call to speak with someone at your company directly. This may happen with a physical product that requires some customization or a prospect may want to inquire about, and can be particularly prevalent with local businesses or businesses where a prospect may want to speak with a live rep immediately (different forms of enterprise sales and lead generation).
While some advertisers have their own solutions for this (either home grown or by leveraging paid solutions like Mongoose Metrics), many don’t, which is why Google offers a service called call metrics. The service was free when it launched but now charges $1 to your account for calls where the user manually dials the number Google provides (rather than clicking the number via a mobile device – details here) but the additional data may be extremely valuable if your normal distribution of calls to leads is call-heavy and you’re just tracking leads.
Demonstrating PPC Value with View-Through Conversions
View-through conversion tracking is another means of ascribing additional value to your PPC campaigns that you might not be able to claim from a standard conversion report. It’s important to note that view-through conversions are not click-through conversions; you shouldn’t pretend they are or present them as such (just as you should be transparent about any metric you’re sharing, be it assisted conversions, calls recorded by call metrics, or view-through conversions). That said, looking at the number of conversions your PPC impressions are involved in – much like looking more closely at the assisted conversion report – can give you a better sense of the overall reach and impact of your paid campaigns.
Demonstrating Value, Not Stealing Credit
This idea of clearly delineating when you’re using metrics that measure different touch points is important, since the goal here should be to drill down to the true value of your paid campaigns, not to steal credit from other channels. By presenting clearer attribution for your PPC efforts, your clients, bosses, and peers will have confidence in your data and will understand the real value being created by PPC.
About the Author
Tom Demers is co-founder and managing partner at Measured SEM search engine marketing consulting, a boutique search marketing agency offering search engine marketing services ranging from pay-per-click account management to an SEO site audit and content marketing and link building services such as guest posting services and blog consulting.